Sulfate and Phosphate Speleothems at Jenolan Caves, New South Wales, Australia

  • Ross E. Pogson Geoscience, Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010
  • R. Armstrong L. Osborne Geoscience, Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia Faculty of Education & Social Work, A35, University of Sydney, NSW 2006
  • David M. Colchester Geoscience, Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010
  • Dioni I. Cendón ANSTO Institute for Environmental Research, PMB 1, Menai, NSW 2234, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522

Abstract

Sulfate and phosphate deposits at Jenolan Caves occur in a variety of forms and compositions including crusts, ‘flowers’ and fibrous masses of gypsum (selenite), and clusters of boss-like speleothems (potatoes) of ardealite (calcium sulphate, phosphate hydrate) with associated gypsum. This boss-like morphology of ardealite does not appear to have been previously described in the literature and this is the first report of ardealite in New South Wales. Gypsum var. selenite occurs in close association with pyrite-bearing palaeokarst, while the ardealite gypsum association appears to relate to deposits of mineralised bat guano. Isotope studies confirm that the two gypsum suites have separate sources of sulfur, one from the weathering of pyrite (-1.4 to +4.9 δ34S) for gypsum (selenite) and the other from alteration of bat guano (+11.4 to +12.9 δ34S) for the ardealite and gypsum crusts.

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Published
2011-09-01
How to Cite
1.
Pogson RE, Osborne RAL, Colchester DM, Cendón DI. Sulfate and Phosphate Speleothems at Jenolan Caves, New South Wales, Australia. AC [Internet]. 2011Sep.1 [cited 2020Jun.1];40(2). Available from: https://ojs.zrc-sazu.si/carsologica/article/view/9
Section
Original papers